As we work toward ensuring all our products are made without the use of intentionally added PFAS by 2025, we wanted to provide some information about these chemicals. 

Got a question that you don’t see answered below? Reach out to us here and we’ll try to get you the info you need on this important issue. 

What are PFAS and why are they a problem? 

PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of chemicals first developed in the late 1930s that became commonplace in manufacturing in the 1950s. Over decades, PFAS have been used in a massive range of products, including cosmetics, firefighting foam, nonstick cookware, and finishes on fabrics designed to repel water, stains, and wrinkles, for example

Why does the outdoor industry use PFAS? 

The outdoor industry has long relied upon these chemicals to make products like jackets and tents water repellant. While there’s not yet an official PFAS standard in the outdoor industry, we, alongside many other outdoor brands, are fully committed to working toward eliminating PFAS to achieve our mission of creating responsibly made outdoor gear. 


waterproof fabrics


Why are PFAS called “forever chemicals”? 

Because unfortunately, they’re very difficult to break down. PFAS can linger in the environment (including the ocean), inside animals, and inside us humans for years. Some estimate that it would take us 4-10 years (or longer) to eliminate existing PFAS from our bodies. 

What’s the difference between PFCs and PFAS? 

PFC stands for “perfluorinated chemicals” and PFAS stands for “per and polyfluoroalkyl substances,” which includes PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid), PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate or perfluorooctane sulfonic acid), and PFC.

Organizations that have traditionally used the abbreviation "PFCs" to refer to perfluorinated chemicals, are now trying to use “per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs)” instead to collectively describe PFOA, PFOS, and the other chemicals in this group. The bottom line is that if your product is free of intentionally added PFAS, it’s also free of PFCs (but not necessarily the other way around). 

What kind of health risks are associated with PFAS? 

A wide range of health issues can be caused by or exacerbated by concentrated and prolonged exposure to PFAS. The Environmental Protection Agency provides a detailed resource on the health risks associated with these chemicals. 

Are PFAS alternatives as effective as PFAS?

PFAS alternatives—including “C0 DWR technologies”—have improved significantly over the past few years as the chemical industry faces mounting pressure to provide safe, effective alternatives. 

Many of these PFAS alternatives are on par with their PFAS counterparts; and for most practical uses, the new technologies exceed what most people would want or expect from a water-resistant or waterproof products. We’ve taken great care to choose PFAS-free technologies that will keep you dry in the wild. However, in some cases requiring extreme protection, PFAS products continue to perform better than any alternative.  


What is DWR technology—and what does C0 mean?

Durable Water Repellent (DWR) technology refers to the polymer coating added to outerwear or gear to make the fabric water-resistant. A DWR finish repels water, causing it to roll off the fabric's surface rather than soaking in. When you see "C0" before DWR, this means that the DWR finish does not use any intentionally added PFAS chemicals. 


What does it mean when you say you’re eliminating “intentionally added PFAS”? Where do PFAS come from if you’re not adding them to the products? 

PFAS chemicals accumulate over time in humans and in the environment. Water, air, soil and our own human bodies contain PFAS chemicals, due to the use of such chemicals over the past decades. 

When we claim we have “no intentionally added PFAS,” we are guaranteeing that we have not added any of these chemicals to our products, however, we can not guarantee that very small amounts from the air, soil, water, etc. have not found their way onto the product.

What are your next steps for eliminating intentionally added PFAS by 2025? 

Starting in 2024, our goal is that 100% of our apparel and packs (excluding Del Día) will be free from intentionally added PFAS. Our Del Día Collection, which is more complex to address since it’s made from deadstock and remnant fabrics, is expected to be free from intentionally added PFAS by the beginning of 2025 as we work to diligently test and document our deadstock and remnant sources. 

Why will it take longer to get rid of PFAS in products made from remnant materials? 

Our Del Día Collection and other current and future collections use deadstock and remnant fabrics that are left over and unused from various sources—not fabrics that we have control of sourcing and treating.  

As the industry as a whole moves toward PFAS alternatives, the supply of deadstock and remnant materials will also evolve away from PFAS, but some of the deadstock and remnant materials that are available to us right now were produced 1-2 years ago. So the deadstock and remnant supply will always be a few years behind what the industry is currently producing.  

What about new products? How will you avoid PFAS going forward? 

As we develop new types of products requiring water resistance in the future, we will collaborate with mills, testing labs, and other organizations to work toward meeting product quality and performance with new fabric finishes that are PFAS-free finishes, and continue to further our education on the best alternative methods for our fans and consumers. 

Are there any types of products where you’ll continue to use PFAS? If so, why? 

We do not plan on any continual use of PFAS in any of our future products.  


PFAS-free rainwear

Currently, do you sell any water-resistant products that are free of intentionally added PFAS? How do I know if there are PFAS in an existing product? 

Yes! Please look for products that use a C0 DWR finish and/or are labeled as having “no intentionally added PFAS” like our Cielo rainwear collection. If in doubt, ask our customer service team for assistance.  


You can also learn more about PFAS and related topics through the Green Science Policy Institute.